N.S. wind turbine manufacturer files for creditor protection
Taxpayers owed millions
The province says it hopes to recover some of the $2 million it invested in a financially-troubled Dartmouth wind turbine manufacturer.
Seaforth Energy filed for protection from creditors this week owing $4 million to 62 creditors.
"Since government is the only secured creditor, we expect some debt repayment," Economic and Rural Development spokesperson Toby Koffman said in an emailed statement to CBC News.
"However, the amount cannot be determined until a restructuring plan is accepted and the repayment process is complete," Koffman said.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is the next biggest creditor. The federal agency is owed nearly $1 million.
What went wrong?
Seaforth Energy manufactured 50 kilowatt turbines used in small scale wind projects across the province.
CBC News was unable to reach anyone connected with the company to ask about its plans or what went wrong.
The company once employed 20 people and exported its turbines all over the world, making it a poster child for Nova Scotia's renewable energy industry.
"They're a local success story. We as a province in Nova Scotia have been quite proud to say that we have a local wind turbine manufacturer," said Catherine Abreu, the energy coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax.
She said technology may have overtaken the company's 19-year-old turbine blade model.
The wind industry and the turbine models have come so far in the past couple of decades that I think Seaforth may have got a little outpaced- Catherine Abreu, EAC
"The wind industry and the turbine models have come so far in the past couple of decades that I think Seaforth may have got a little outpaced," she said.
Abreu and others say Seaforth's fate will not slow the four dozen wind projects planned for Nova Scotia over the next two years.
"I don't think it's going to have any impact whatsoever. People and projects will be continuing. We have a lot that's going," said Barbara Pike, CEO of the Maritimes Energy Association.
The Nova Scotia Government said it will participate in the court process to protect taxpayers "as best as possible."